How can I connect my laptop to a phone line if there is no outlet on the laptop?

Updated April 17, 2017

Not all newer model laptops come equipped with a built-in phone jack. This is a problem if you subscribe to dial-up Internet service. A laptop has to have a fax modem to connect to dial-up Internet. Fax modems have a phone jack. If your laptop does not have a built-in fax modem, you could cancel your dial-up Internet service, and subscribe to broadband DSL. DSL connects to the Internet via a phone line, but connects to your computer via the Ethernet port. Or you could keep dial-up Internet service, and purchase an external fax modem.

Plug the USB fax modem into one of the laptop's unused USB ports.

Insert one end of the telephone cable into the phone jack on the USB fax modem.

Connect the other end of the telephone cable to a telephone wall jack in your home.

Load the installation CD, which came with the USB fax modem, into the laptop's CD drive. An installation wizard should automatically launch. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the modem's drivers onto the laptop.

Configure the laptop's network connection settings to connect to the Internet via dial-up. In Windows 7 computers, this is accomplished by clicking the "Network" icon in the taskbar to open the "Network and Sharing Center." Click "Set up a new connection or network." Follow the on-screen instructions to configure your dial-up settings.

Plug a telephone splitter into the phone jack you want to use for Internet service.

Insert one end of a telephone cable into one of the phone jacks on the telephone splitter. Insert the other end of this cable into the "DSL" jack on the modem provided by your broadband DSL Internet Service provider.

Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the modem's Ethernet jack. Plug the other end of this cable into the laptop's Ethernet jack.

Connect a DSL filter to each phone jack you want to hook up a land line phone. Plug one end of a telephone cable into the DSL filter's phone jack, and the other end into the phone jack located on the base of the land line telephone.

Things You'll Need

  • Subscription to DSL Internet service, or
  • External USB fax modem
  • Telephone cable
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About the Author

Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.